Darkest Dungeon Wiki

Whenever the player takes too long to defeat the opposing enemies in either a hallway battle or a room battle, they will suffer Stall Penalty. The Stall Penalty can be either increased stress across the party, or enemy reinforcements. The reinforcements can be composed of any enemies that may appear in the current dungeon, although the pairs always seem to carry a theme (e.g. both having the same prefix, such as "Fungal" or "Cultist"). The purpose of the penalties is to prevent the player from stalling to heal both health and destress before continuing on with the rest of the dungeon.

Reinforcements can be disabled in the gameplay settings under Combat Delay Penalties, however these settings cannot be altered within Stygian or Blood Moon game modes. If you disable reinforcements, then you will not receive the below achievement:

Image Name Description
Achievement30.jpg Strict Mode Complete the game with default difficulty options

Stalling Mechanics[]

  • The Stall Penalty is either increased stress across the party, or enemy reinforcements (without stress penalty), chosen randomly between the two.
  • Enemies spawned by the Stall Penalty penalty will not award additional loot.


  • Stall Penalties will not occur if the remaining enemy is a 'large' creature (takes up 2 spaces or more), or the battle is a boss battle. There is also no Stall Penalty during Shieldbreaker's flashback battle.
  • Stall Penalties will not occur if there's only two or less remaining heroes in the party.
  • Stall Penalties will occur if both of the following conditions are met:
    • Two full rounds have elapsed with only 2 or fewer enemies remaining.
    • The player has used 2 or more "stalling" skills when there are only 2 or fewer enemies remaining.
  • By using any skill which inflicts damage against any enemy target (Occultist's Vulnerability Hex, despite dealing damage, does not count as a damaging skill), including corpses, hit or miss, twice in a round, the Stall Penalty Conditions will be reset. This means you may stall as much as you like in the remaining current round and the next round, without any Stall Penalties.
  • If both remaining enemies are any of the enemies listed below, then the Stall Penalty will occur after only 1 round.
Enemy Name
Bone Arbalist.png Bone Arbalest
Bone Courtier.png Bone Courtier
Bone Rabble.png Bone Rabble
Bone Militia.png Bone Soldier
Collected Man-at-Arms.png Collected Man-at-Arms
Collected Vestal.png Collected Vestal
Crone.png Crone
Fungal Artillery.png Fungal Artillery
Madman.png Madman
Maggot.png Maggot
Pelagic Guardian.png Pelagic Guardian
Pelagic Shaman.png Pelagic Shaman
Swine Drummer.png Swine Drummer
Swine Skiver.png Swine Skiver
Webber.png Webber

Stalling Skills[]

DLC Icons
The Crimson Court
Exclusive to The Crimson Court DLC
The Shieldbreaker
Exclusive to The Shieldbreaker DLC
Hero Moves DLC
Abomination portrait roster.png Absolution
Antiquarian portrait roster.png Flashpowder
Fortifying Vapors
Get Down!
Invigorating Vapors
Protect Me!
Arbalest portrait roster.png Battlefield Bandage
Rallying Flare
Sniper's Mark
Bounty hunter portrait roster.png Flashbang
Marked for Death
Crusader portrait roster.png Battle Heal
Bulwark of Faith
Inspiring Cry
Flagellant portrait roster.png Endure
The Crimson Court
Grave robber portrait roster.png Shadow Fade
Toxin Trickery
Hellion portrait roster.png Adrenaline Rush
Barbaric YAWP!
Highwayman portrait roster.png -
Houndmaster portrait roster.png Cry Havoc
Lick Wounds
Target Whistle
Jester portrait roster.png Battle Ballad
Inspiring Tune
Leper portrait roster.png Solemnity
Man-at-arms portrait roster.png Bellow
Occultist portrait roster.png Vulnerability Hex
Wyrd Reconstruction
Plague doctor portrait roster.png Battlefield Medicine
Blinding Gas
Disorienting Blast
Shieldbreaker portrait roster.png Serpent's Sway
The Shieldbreaker
Vestal portrait roster.png Divine Comfort
Divine Grace